NOLA likely to see bar closures, police checkpoints in French Quarter during Mardi Gras
NEW ORLEANS - With Fat Tuesday less than two weeks away, New Orleans officials are preparing to release a series of new rules that will ensure participants celebrate the season within guidelines associated with COVID-19 health and safety.
According to WWL-TV, officials will lay out the new rules on Friday (Feb. 5) around 11:30 a.m., and sources told Eyewitness News that the new restrictions will likely include bar closures that may begin on Feb. 12 and continue on until Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 16.
WWL-TV reports that a separate source told Eyewitness News the city had not delivered any final plans to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) as of Thursday (Feb. 4), but NOPD expects to be called on to monitor checkpoints and break up large groups.
At this point in the pandemic, Jefferson Parish has already dealt with a total of 41,824 COVID-19 cases and a loss of 799 individuals to the virus. Now that COVID variants have crept into the state, city and state leaders worry that large Mardi Gras crowds will be super-spreaders for the virus and its variants.
This prompted Governor John Bel Edwards to issue a warning to tourists. saying, “There’s a good chance that someone travels in and brings the virus and if they don’t there’s a good chance when they go home, they’re going to take it home with them.”
The governor also said that officers and agents from state police, the fire marshal’s office and ATC will be in New Orleans to enforce restrictions.
Those new restrictions will be detailed by New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell on Friday morning, around 11:30 am.